About Us

Hawaii: In Real Life started out in 2009 as a project to create an online directory of photos and videos of social media users meeting other social media users in real life. The relationships formed online through the frequent exchange of glimpses into each other’s lives as well as the dialog centered around these posts can create friendships between people who have have never ever met in person. And while many of these friendships can be as strong or maybe even stronger than those formed by meeting someone, Melissa Chang (@melissa808) is always telling people that you shouldn’t exist online only. You have to get out and meet people in real life too!

The concept represented in our original logo was that of an Interstate street sign marking where people of the virtual online world became real. A place where people could stop by and visit with friends or find new ones. A destination.

Since that time we’ve grown from being just a photo/video directory of users to a home for bloggers who live in Hawai’i or just love Hawai’i and want to share that aloha.

In 2019 as the online world continued to grow and evolve we found ourselves reflecting on what we were before and what we have become and realized that it was time for a “reboot” of the brand. And that meant distancing ourselves from the symbolism of the past and looking for something that better represents what we have become and where we want to go.

To begin this transformation we engaged the services of Debra Castro, a long time graphic designer here in Hawai’i. And at first the thought was that we might try and maintain a connection to our origins and just “upgrade” our look. Which did give us good results with it being much cleaner and more refined. But we felt we needed a bigger change and gave Deb some new marching orders. Forget the past! Create our future with no holds barred. EXCEPT! We want this and that and the next thing. But other than that it is all yours to do with what you will. 🙂

We wanted something that would represent our Hawai’i focus but also wasn’t over used or corny and after discussing a number of different possibilities we zeroed in on the ho’okupu.

Ho`okupu – to sprout, grow, increase; To cause growth, to sprout
Source: Mary Kawena Pukui, Samuel H. Elbert. Hawaiian Dictionary. UH Press, Honolulu. 1986.

The reasoning behind choosing the ho’okupu as representation of what we are about is the thought that through our bloggers sharing their experiences we are allowing others to learn about Hawai’i. And in doing so we hope it will create a new appreciation for what we think makes Hawai’i a very special place with special people.

As we worked through the design process something serendipitously emerged. A voyaging canoe at the top of the world! And that pretty much sealed the deal. We had our new logo for our mission.

Please join us on our journey as we share our gift of Hawai’i with the world!

Aloha and mahalo!